RFS Blog | by Karl W. Palachuk – Relax Focus Succeed. Learn more at www.relaxfocussucceed.com

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One of the emerging trends in the U.S. is unplugging. As we become more connected to our technology every day, the need to uplug becomes greater.

In fact, unplugging has become popular enough to have its own day. National Day of Unplugging was March 6th of this year. The day was started by a group called Reboot.

And now, Jenifer Novak Landers – life coach, author, and entrepreneur – has developed a stylish way to unplug at home or at the office. She is creating a line call Unpluggables and raising starter funds through an Indiegogo campaign. See https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/unpluggables.

Unpluggable Indiegogo campaign

Why Unplug?

There are three primary reasons we all need to unplug. They are personal, social, and business.

More and more, research is showing that our constant use of technology is harmful to our bodies and brains in several ways. This is particularly true with cell phones, which have become the all-in-one entertainment center of choice. We’re beginning to see research that supports much of what we already suspect: Cell phone addiction can have negative impacts on our lives – both physicially and psychologically.

For a place to start looking at the research, see https://student.societyforscience.org/article/watch-out-cell-phones-can-be-addictive – or just Google “cell phone addiction” for other links.

On a personal level, over-use of mobile gadgets could be stimulating your brain in harmful ways. On a much more personal level, we all need to take time to relax, disconnect from others, and fully appreciate ourselves and our lives. We need to stop communicating with the outside world and spend more time in reflection. That’s a fundamental precept of my Relax Focus Succeed® philosophy.

On the social level, we all know that “devices” are bad for family communications. Kids won’t put them down. Sometimes adults won’t put them down. Some people literally cannot go five minutes without checking their cell phones. Watch people on a date at a restaurant. Even those who avoid their cell phones whip them out the second their date gets up to use the restroom.

Jenifer tells the story, in her Unpluggables video, about putting a sign on her TV when her daughter was young. The sign read “Magic Happens” because magic happens when we turn off technology and spend time with each other. That was the original idea that became Unpluggables.

Basically, Unpluggables are stylish cases to put your phone into as an outward sign that you are choosing to set aside the technology and pay attention to the people in your life. My favorite design is the wedding set. Hers is white with a veil and his is a little tuxedo. Unplugged weddings have been around about five years. Other unplugged events are growing. For example, see An Unplugged Weekend: 7 Tips To Make It Happen.

Families need to unplug during meals. The Unpluggable line makes it easy to do this with a visible sign that people are choosing to spend time with each other.

On the business front, cell phones are often the cause of great frustration. Forbes recently posted an article entitled How To Get People Off Their Phones In Meetings Without Being A Jerk. And Entrepreneur magazine publishes articles like, Why Successful People Never Bring Smartphones Into Meetings.

Jenifer’s Unpluggables line will include sets that can be used at meetings, weddings, and other large gatherings. She’s even going to have decorated boxes that can be passed around at meetings, so folks can just give up the device for an hour.


Give and Get

Contribute to the Unpluggable CampaignPlease contribute to Jenifer’s Indiegogo campaign. She needs money to create designs, acquire materials, and find manufacturers for Unpluggables. If you contribute, you can get an Unpluggable or several other “perks.” You could even get a starter kit so you can become one of the first resellers for Unpluggables.

Please look at the campaign here.

Donate whatever you can afford.

At least two elements of Relax Focus Succeed® are easier when you unplug: Relax and Focus.

That’s why I’m supporting this awesome campaign.



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Relaxed Girl At Peace Smelling A FlowerI have recently talked to several people who are trying to figure out how to get started with “quiet time” or meditation. So I thought I’d give you my recommendations. There are no hard, fast rules here, so relax and enjoy.

I plan to have several posts on this. So go slow and check back often. Your comments and questions are certainly welcome.

The first thing to keep in mind, if you are new to meditation, is that it’s a skill like anything else. If you haven’t done it before, you need to start somewhere. You need to learn how it feel to sit and do nothing. You need to learn how to listen and stop talking.

If you’re one of those people who always has the TV on, or the iPod, iPad, MP3 player, or some other device that requires you to have ear buds in your ears all the time, you will be particularly challenged.


Lesson one is: Be patient with yourself.

You may have heard people say “you can’t do it wrong.” That’s true if you are sincerely trying.

If you are really, truly trying meditation for the first time, I recommend you have get yourself a timer. It can be a kitchen timer or an app on your phone. Set it for one minute. I know that’s not much. But it will seem like forever if you haven’t experienced it before.

Simply sit quietly in a chair, relax, close your eyes, and wait for the minute to pass.

When the timer rings, be aware of your reaction to it. Do you say to yourself, “It’s about time!”? If you do, keep repeating the exercise every day for one minute.

When your reaction becomes “What? Already? I wonder if I set the timer wrong.” – then you are ready to set the timer for two minutes or even three.


Next time we’ll look inside your head and talk about some of those thoughts that come up in meditation.



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Farmers and Fords

I knew a farmer that turned the south 40 into a used car lot.

Now every year is a bumper crop.


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Some mornings I get up and would rather stay in bed.  I’m sure this is unique to me.  I know I need to exercise, but reading is more fun.  And I have bills to pay.  And my back hurts.  Also, I need to tidy up my office, the cat needs feeding, I should really take it easy on that injured foot, I think I’m getting a headache, and I just don’t feel like it.

We all have excuses for not doing exercise.  The more people I meet, the more excuses I hear.  Yet, I’ve notice something:  The people who do exercise regularly have just as many reasons not to exercise as the people who don’t exercise regularly.  In fact, people who exercise regularly seem always to be discussing how their shoulder aches or that knee surgery slowed them down.  They have shin splints and bad backs and various maladies that could be used as an excuse to avoid exercise.

Those people also have something else:  A sense of why they should exercise.  Exercise is one of the most basic, fundamental elements of success.  No matter how you define success, you will need a working physical body to achieve it.  You can certainly get rich and be fat.  But success doesn’t mean getting rich.  Success means attaining your goals.  That means you need some balance in your life (you have to focus enough to know what your goals are and to move toward them).

And to enjoy your success, you need a body that works.  One of my favorite modern philosophers is Dr. Dean Edell (see Healthcentral.com).  I call him a philosopher because he has a consistent, moderate, rational approach to health.  He likes to put in perspective the news we hear about living longer.  If we can extend the life expectancy of Americans by some period of time, he says, we need to consider the quality of that life extension.  Are we living another three months in a hospital, hooked up to equipment that keeps us alive?  If so, is there value in extending life expectancy?

Exercise FiendWouldn’t it be great if you could extend your life and know that you’ll be upright, active, and reasonably healthy for that extended period of time?

At the turn of the millennium, I told my daughter Victoria (then age 8) that she had a real chance of seeing and remembering three centuries–the 1900’s, the 2000’s, and the 2100’s.  All she had to do was live to be 108.  If you think about the advancements in medicine, being 108 years old in the year 2100 seems quite reasonable.

Then she asked me if people might live to be 140 by that time.  I told her I thought they could.  At least some people will live to be 140 years old.  So she told me that I could also see the year 2100 if I worked at it and took care of myself.  So, now I have to exercise for two reasons:  She’s going to be mad at me if I don’t live to 140, and I want to be ambulatory and able to enjoy it!

You may not have a goal of living to be 140, but you should have the goal of being healthy while you’re here on earth.  You’re excuses are worthless.  There are people with all kinds of maladies who exercise regularly.  If you’re reasonably able, you need to exercise more than them.

Some people use the excuse that exercise is expensive, but you don’t have to spend any money at all.  There’s an old fella in my neighborhood who jogs in basic khaki shorts and a button-up shirt.  He doesn’t even spend the money for a pair of exercise shorts!  But he jogs many miles every day.  He looks like he’s in his sixties, but he’s probably in his eighties.  He won’t even spend $15 on a t-shirt, but he exercises regularly.

Exercise is pretty straight-forward:  Move your body more and you’ll live longer.

I’m no Charles Atlas.  In fact, if you met me on the street you’d probably never guess that I exercise at all.  But I ride the stationary bike and I do yoga.  I have lots of excuses why I can’t run or play racquetball anymore.   I can do something and I try.

If you have to boil success down to a few basic elements, exercise has to be on the short list.  If you reach your goals and find yourself bedridden (or dead), you haven’t really achieved anything at all.  You have to take care of your frail human shell because you’ll need it to be in good shape no matter what you achieve.

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Relax Focus Succeed

By Karl W. Palachuk, author of the book Relax Focus Succeed. Please visit the RFS web site at www.relaxfocussucceed.com and sign up for our free newsletter.



Golfer Humor

A contribution from my friend David.

– Did you hear about the golfer who got run over by a lawn mower? He had a nasty slice.

– I just heard the poor guy had to have his hand amputated. Now he has a slice AND a hook!

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